Posted by Chip Patterson
Before we get geared up with the madness known as National Signing Day, here is a rundown of some of the last minute names and stories in the ACC.
Players to Watch
Stephone Anthony (pictured), LB, Anson (Wadesboro, NC): The talented outside linebacker has narrowed his choices to Clemson and Virginia Tech, and plans to make his intentions known at 11:30 ET on national television. MaxPreps has Anthony as the top rated player at his position and number 4 overall. Anthony is credited as being an "every down type player" who can make an immediate impact if necessary. Getting Anthony would be great news for Clemson, who said goodbye to Brandon Maye earlier this week.
Tony Steward, MLB/RB, Menendez (St. Augstine, FL): Considered the next best linebacker behind Anthony, Steward also finds himself flirting with Clemson, but also could end up with Florida State after an in-home with Jimbo Fisher on Friday. Steward will announce before Anthony, also on national television. If Steward ends up with the Seminoles, there will be much more pressure for Anthony to end up with Clemson (where some of the Twitter rumors on Tuesday have him committing).
Darius Jennings, QB/DB, Gilman (Baltimore, MD): MaxPreps has Jennings ranked as the #5 athlete in the class of 2011, but the Baltimore native has some unique schools left on his final list before National Signing Day. In addition to Ohio State, Jennings is still considering offers from Virginia and recently added Wake Forest. His 4.4 speed makes him a threat that could be plugged in at any position, but many believe he may find his spot at defensive back. Regardless of position, a player of this caliber would be a huge sign for the Cavaliers or the Demon Deacons.
Teams to Watch
Florida State: With six players in the MaxPreps Top 100 and No. 2 ranking from Tom Lemming, Florida State will be the biggest topic of discussion on National Signing Day in the ACC. All of this and the Seminoles still have the possibility of adding Tony Steward and Tim Jernigan. Jimbo Fisher has worked the recruiting trail as hard as anyone in the conference. His message to the Seminole fanbase is to re-establish Florida State's position atop the ACC.
Clemson: Despite a less than stellar season under Dabo Swinney, and some major changes on the coaching staff, the Tigers find themselves right in contention with the best schools in the country coming into National Signing Day. They already have a nationally ranked class, and are battling down to the wire for Tony Steward, Stephone Anthony, and defensive tackle Phillip Dukes, among others.
North Carolina: Despite spending most of the season in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, head coach Butch Davis has been able to keep North Carolina on the list of many top recruits. According to local reports, Davis has been making no promises to recruits regarding possible NCAA sanctions. Davis has been stacking four-star recruits, and still could make a splash on National Signing Day with Curtis Grant.
The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher needed only one season as head of the program to get them right back to the top of the national scene. After a strong finish that included their first appearance in the ACC Championship Game since 2005, Florida State could end up landing one of the best recruiting classes in nation. If Timmy Jernigan and Tony Steward do end up hopping on board, it could be one of the best classes in a long time in Tallahassee.
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